New tool available to navigate ACA changes

With just over a month to go before the Connect for Health Colorado health insurance exchange gets underway, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative launched a new guide with new mobile apps to connect consumers to the new health care coverages and services.

The tools, located at http://cohealth.co/blue-guide, are designed to help the uninsured and underinsured navigate the new health care system. The Affordable Care Act, a federal law that changed health insurance rules, created the health care exchanges as the marketplace for consumers to access federal subsidies for health insurance.

The exchange in Colorado starts open enrollment in October, with policies going into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The CCHI Blue Guide includes information on enrollment assistance sites for Connect for Health Colorado and  information on sites that can help consumers enroll in public health insurance programs like Medicaid or the Child Health Plan Plus. The site also includes information about local community health centers, school-based health centers, public health programs, community and migrant health services and dental and mental health programs. Users will be able to sort information based on location, health needs, language and other filters.

Currently there are approximately 800,000 Coloradans without health insurance. Experts estimate that 500,000 will gain access to coverage through the Connect for Health Colorado marketplace.